History of Zakynthos

Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Loukas Karrer
History of Zakynthos

Jews of Zakynthos

During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos refused Nazi orders to turn in a list of the members of the town’s Jewish community

Italian Soldiers San Marco Square 1942
History of Zakynthos

Second World War (1940–1945)

Mussolini-led Italy invaded Greece in October 1940 but the invasion was halted after the Greek army pushed the Italians back into Northern Epirus and some

Zakynthos Solomos Square 1917
History of Zakynthos

First World War (1914–1918)

The First World War period was dominated by two parties on Zakynthos, the Romas and the Lomvardos party. The Romas party were elected as deputies

Party of the Radicals members of the Ionian Parliament by unknown artist, c. 1855
History of Zakynthos

The Party of the Radicals (1864)

Around the time of other revolutionary movements in Europe in 1848, the Party of Radicals was formed out of an earlier group called the Liberals to agitate

Kyriakos Xoraphas by Ioannis Korais (the younger), 1826
History of Zakynthos

Events of Ipsolithos (1821)

On 30 September 1821, following the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, an Ottoman Turkish ship carrying Muslim refugees, after having being pursued by

Portrait of Dionysios Romas by Spyridon Pelekasis, c. 1880s.
History of Zakynthos

Zakynthos Committee (1823-1825)

The beginning of the Greek War of Independence resulted in a number of land and naval victories. By the beginning of 1823, this led to

The Battle of Lala by Peter von Hess, 1835
History of Zakynthos

Battle of Lala (1821)

The Battle of Lala (9–13 June 1821) was one of the first major conflicts of the Greek War of Independence. It was a significant victory

The Oath by Dionysios Tsokos showing the swearing in of a person to the Filiki Eteria in Zakynthos
History of Zakynthos

Outbreak of Greek War of Independence

With the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, one of its leaders, Alexander Ypsilanti invited the Ionian Islanders to form a corp to help

Domeneginis Tower
History of Zakynthos

Greek War of Independence (1821–1832)

The Filiki Eteria (or Society of Friends) was a secret 19th-century organization created to end the Ottoman rule of Greece and establish an independent Greek state. The

Richard Church
History of Zakynthos

British Occupation (1809–1815)

After the capture of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaci, in March 1810, Oswald and Richard Church, an Irish Captain invaded Lefkada with a force of 2,000

The British capture 1809
History of Zakynthos

British invasion of the Ionian Islands (1809)

A year after the initial French Napoleonic occupation of Zakynthos, the wider European conflict brought the British Brigadier-General, John Oswald to the Mediterranean, in charge of

Antonios Komoutos, President of the Septinsular Republic 1803–1807, c. 1806
History of Zakynthos

French Napoleonic Rule (1807–1809)

In 1806, the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Empire; and thereafter, the Septinsular Republic was ceded to Napoleon’s First French Empire under the

Matthew the Evangelist by Nikolaos Kantounis, c. late 18th/early 19th century
History of Zakynthos

Constitutional revision (1803)

After continued tension throughout the Ionian Islands, the constitution of the Septinsular Republic was revised in late 1803. The so-called Aristocratic Constitution because its first

Flag of the Septinsular Republic
History of Zakynthos

Creation of the Septinsular Republic (1800)

After a long period of negotiations, on 21 March 1800 the Treaty of Constantinople was drafted and ratified by the Russian and Ottoman Empires, creating the Septinsular Republic,

Three Zakynthians peasants by Gerasimos Pitzamanos, 1804–1807
History of Zakynthos

Plot to massacre the Nobles (1799)

Resistance continued to grow among the Cittadini, Popolari and some of the peasants to the reinstatement of the privileges of the Nobili, and even the

History of Zakynthos

Eptanisian State (1797-1807)

After the departure of the French, the intervention of the allies followed, and the ousting of the French from the other Ionian islands which established

History of Zakynthos

Burning of the Libro D’Oro (1797)

The Treaty of Campoformio signed on 18 October 1797 dismantled the Venetian Republic and awarded the Ionian Islands to France. Gentili and his French expeditionary force of 1500

Nikolaos Koutouzis (1741-1813)
History of Zakynthos

Conspiracy to massacre the Patriots (1796)

Many of the Zakynthian patriotic revolutionaries coalesced around the figure of the French consul, Constantine-Yakynthis Guys. The consulate was also the source of much Jacobin

The Descent from the Cross, Nikolaos Koutouzis, c. 1790
History of Zakynthos

French Republican rule (1797–1799)

By the time of the French Revolution, the Republic of Venice was already in serious decline given the opening of new sea routes outside of the

The Adoration of the Shepherds, Nikolaos Koutouzis, c. 1780
History of Zakynthos

Freemasonry in Zakynthos

Although it is difficult to entirely document the fullest extent of Freemasonry’s influence, due to its historical secrecy, it is generally believed to have played

The ceiling of Panagia Faniromeni, Zakynthos town. Originally painted by Nikolaos Doxaras and assistant Stefano Pasigetis 1753–1762
History of Zakynthos

Orlov Revolt (1770–1771)

The Orlov Revolt was a Greek uprising primarily centred in the Peloponnese. It erupted in February 1770 following the arrival of the Russian Admiral Alexey Orlov,

History of Zakynthos

Second Morean War (1714–1718)

The Seventh Venetian-Ottoman War (or the Second Morean War) was fought between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire between 1714 and 1718. It

Zakynthos town as depicted in icon of Agios Haralambos wiping out the plague by Nikolaos Kalergis, 1732
History of Zakynthos

Plague, pestilence and famine

Following the fall of various Venetian-occupied cities and forts in mainland Greece and the fall of Crete in 1669, Zakynthos became a key port for

Greek Pirates by Alexandre Gabriel Decamps, 1838
History of Zakynthos

Pirates and Corsairs

Zakynthos was considered a relatively wealthy island throughout the period of the Venetian occupation, so pirates and corsairs presented a constant threat, compelling Zakynthians to

The Litany of St Haralambos, St Haralambos Church near Argassi, Zakynthos showing Zakynthian nobles in procession. Painted by Ioannis Korais, 1756
History of Zakynthos

Rebellion of the Popolari (1628–1632)

Venetian rule was anything but peaceful during the period of the occupation. The societal changes and inequalities that developed between the various classes of Zakynthian

Archangel Michael by Panagiotis Doxaras, c. 1700
History of Zakynthos

The Mani and Zakynthos

Another key source of Zakynthian refugees and influence on Zakynthian culture including its dialect was The Mani in the southern Peloponese. After the fall of

Detail from the Litany of the relic of St Dionysios in Strofades by Nikolaos Koutouzis, 1786
History of Zakynthos

Saint Dionysios

The life of Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos provides a clue as to life during the early period of Venetian rule. Draganigos Sigouros was born in

The Battle of Lepanto by an unknown artist
History of Zakynthos

Battle of Lepanto (1570–1571)

The people of Zakynthos contributed to the famous Battle of Lepanto not only due to the proximity of the battle to the island but also due to

History of Zakynthos

Currant Production and Trade

Shortly after the establishment of Venetian rule in 1484, Venice sought to repopulate Zakynthos with the resettlement of many Stradioti and refugees from mainland Greece

Agios Georgios Krimnon monastery tower, 1535
History of Zakynthos

Siege of Koroni (1532)

The Turkish naval squadron returned to Zakynthos and anchored near Argassi. The naval forces of Charles V and Andrea Doria were now anchored near Katastari

Codex 33 manuscript of ancient authors such as Sophocles's Ajax, Aristophanes's Wealth and a genealogical tree of Aeschylus with scholia by Pachomios Rousanos, c. 1540
History of Zakynthos

Battle of Methoni (1531)

During the early 16th century, the Venetian Republic had refrained from partaking in European campaigns against the Ottoman Turks given its vital interests in the

Coat of arms of some prominent Zakynthian families including the family of Sigouros
History of Zakynthos

Siege of Kefalonia (1500)

A little earlier, on 17 August 1500, the admiral of the fleet, Benedetto Pesaro and other Venetian officers recognized the need reinforce the defenses of their remaining

Venetian Castle in Zakynthos
History of Zakynthos

Fall of Methoni and Koroni (1500)

Bayezid II made further demands on the Venetian Republic in the following months which included Methoni and Koroni. These two strategic towns were often called the two eyes of

Flag of the Most Serene Republic of Venice
History of Zakynthos

Venetian Rule (1484 – 1797)

Ottoman rule lasted only until 22 April 1484; however, the Ottoman Turks did not completely occupy Zakynthos during that time – they only stationed a

Leonardo de Tocco, Duke of Zakynthos by Carlo Sellito, c. 1510s. It is uncertain which Leonardo Tocco he represented in this painting.
History of Zakynthos

Ottoman Turkish raid (1479)

During the reign of the Ottoman Turkish sultan Mehmet II, the Tocco family had been obliged to pay a tribute to the Sublime Porte to

Coat of Arms of the Tocco family
History of Zakynthos

First refugees (1460–1479)

By 1460, and during the reign of Mehmed II, the Ottoman Turks eventually controlled most of the Peloponnese with the exception of the remaining Venetian-controlled towns of Argos, Nafplio, Monemvassia, Methoni and Koroni. After

Anafonitria Monastery
History of Zakynthos

Neapolitan rule (1185–1479)

After 1185 Zakynthos became part of the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos under the Kingdom of Naples until its last Count Leonardo III Tocco

Agios Nikolaos Megalomatis Skopos
History of Zakynthos

Byzantine Era (330–1185)

Zakynthos (Zante) came under the Roman power when the Consul, the Roman Senator Titus Flaminius, arrived in Greece. With the rhetoric power which characterised him,

Lucius Cornelius Sulla (138-78 BCE)
History of Zakynthos

Roman Era (87 bc)

Zakynthos came under the Roman power when the Consul, the Roman Senator Titus Flaminius, arrived in Greece. With the rhetoric power which characterised him, he

Headstone, c. 200–300 AD
History of Zakynthos

Ancient Times

Zakynthos (Zante) is considered in mythology to be the first settler of the island, who was the grandson of Zeus and Helectra, son of Dardanos